The Surprise Hotel Room

If you travel a lot like me, you will have experienced your share of over-priced, poorly designed hotel rooms. Maybe you’ve wondered why your room doesn’t have a power point by the bed so you can charge your phone and use your alarm without having to jump out of bed in the morning. Maybe you’ve also been woken in the early hours by the hotel’s bedside clock alarm set by somebody else, and fumbled in the dark trying to turn it off. (I sometimes wonder whether mischievous hotel staff do this on purpose!) Read entire post

Can I Give You Some Feedback?

You probably cringed when you read the subject of this Tip. In fact, neuroscientists have found, saying this to someone triggers the same threat response in their brain as hearing footsteps walking up behind them in a dark street. Yet, if you work in the franchising sector, you will know that feedback between franchisees and franchisors is an essential part of the job. I’m not just referring to field managers giving franchisees feedback about brand standards. It is not uncommon for franchisees to also deliver some tough messages to their franchisor team. An important opportunity for us all then, if we are to grow professionally and personally, is to learn how to give and receive feedback. Read entire post

The Science of Being Happy and Successful

I have just returned from a three day conference with 350 business psychologists, where we discussed the latest research on enhancing performance and well-being at work. One session was on positive psychology, defined as the science of well-being and which studies the conditions under which people flourish. The latest model to emerge from this field, and which I will share in this Tip, is called PERMA. It stands for Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement. Read entire post

Why I Hate Town Hall Meetings

Most franchisor executives and franchisees have experienced group meetings that have become so negative, many of the participants have vowed not to attend again in the future. This usually has more to do with the process of how meetings are conducted, than the content or the issues being discussed. Molehills can easily turn into mountains if people don’t feel listened to. On the other hand, highly contentious issues can be discussed in a calm and constructive manner if meetings take into account sound principles of group psychology. Read entire post

New Research Findings on Field Managers

Results are now in from our latest research at FRI, The Field Manager Performance Study. These findings could make a big difference to the satisfaction of your franchisees. Over the past 12 months we’ve been asking hundreds of franchisees to rate how likely they would be to recommend their field manager to other franchisees. Next we’ve been asking what the highly regarded field managers are doing that adds value to the business and what the less highly regarded field managers could do to add more value.  Read entire post

Why Tough Going Gets the Tough Going

When I asked my wife why she was so enthusiastic about watching the Australian Grand Slam, she explained it was not so much the tennis, but the players’ amazing mental resilience that she found so interesting. Psychologists have recently been focusing more on understanding the psychology of positive performance, not just in sport but all areas of life. This new research field is called Positive Psychology. While the findings often reflect what we intuitively know to be true, such as the value of a positive mental attitude, the power of this research is the way it unlocks the mechanisms behind these healthy habits of thinking. This means we can then consciously work at improving our psychological health. Read entire post

The $2,000 Bottle of Milk

It was 12.30am and my wife and I were dead tired, having just arrived home after a 20 hour flight from Europe. We both felt like a cup of tea but there was no milk in the house. The good news was the 7-Eleven down the road would be open. I always make a point of shopping there, even though I have to walk a bit further, because I like to support the local franchisee. So off I headed into the dark to visit the store. With a large carton of milk in hand I pulled out my wallet to pay. Because the guy behind the counter looked as though he’d also been flying for 20 hours, I thought I’d make the transaction more interesting. Read entire post

The Performance Enhancing Lettuces

A large white pot sits in a courtyard outside my office. A few months ago my wife planted some Impatiens seedlings. The seeedlings soon blosomed into groups of beautiful flowers basking happily in the sun. She then decided to plant some lettuce seedlings in the spaces between the flowers. Conditions must have been perfect because the lettuces grew like mad. You could actually see them stretching up a little more each day. Then something remarkable happened. Read entire post

What Franchisees Are Saying About You

Over the past few months we’ve been asking franchisees for feedback on the quality of operational support and whether they would recommend their field manager to other franchisees. This research is adapted from the Net Promoter Score question, where customers are asked to rate how likely they are to recommend a particular business. The results so far indicate some important shifts in expectations of field support. Read entire post

The Mentor in the Wheelchair

As soon as Cody Everson hit the ground he knew something really bad had happened. And he was right. A crunching rugby tackle had just transformed him from a physically strapping young man into a tetraplegic, paralysed from the chest down. I’ve just watched a moving documentary on Cody’s journey of recovery. But there is another hero in this inspiring story, Sholto Taylor, who is Cody’s independent living coach. Read entire post


Greg Nathan is a psychologist, author and an international expert on the franchise relationship. Connect with him on Google+ or Linkedin.

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